05 August 2011

The Right Measure

Let me start with a convoluted equation: we often see the same people reacting differently to the same thing. Hard-core intellectuals for example scorn the real belief in God, but when they watch the Matrix, they get all excited about the reality of illusions. They open up to new ideas. Why? Because it happens while they're having fun.

Having fun is all about the right measure. A little bit of knowledge, a drop of challenging novelty, comfy chairs, smooth music and a popcorn. OK, maybe an open fire and a glass of wine: the choice is limitless. What does matter is channeling the frighteningly new information in a safe and fun way. Do you know which teachers people remember longest? Those who made me laugh.

To untangle the convolution: it is always more important how we do things than what we do. I learned that the hard way. Not having the right measure cost me emotionally, so I learned it good. I was in my early 20s and dating a really cool guy. I like him so darn much that I wanted to pour out my soul to him straight away. Yay - talking about the right measure. So what I did was, I compared him to one of my male icons: Christopher Dean. He not only didn't know who Christopher Dean was - one of the most inspiring ice-skaters, dance choreographers and the bloody winner of the 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Games with the sexy take on Ravel's Bolero with the amazingly graceful Jayne Torvill whom we all envied - but he cringed when I proceeded to tell him. The upshot was that the conversation took place on the phone so my embarrassment was at least a tiny bit lessened.

You are guessing that he never called again. You're right. How simple it all looks today. But back then, my mind boggled why Christopher Dean would be such a threat to him.

I can still hear myself say it, 'you are like Christopher Dean to me', as I daydreamed of being swept away in my boy's arms, just like dancing on ice. Yikes - then the silence on the other end. The message was definitely sweet, my heart was in the right place, my boy was probably eager to know how much I liked him, but the measure, the measure was all wrong.

Nowadays when I like a boy and hear myself say, 'you are like Christopher Dean to me', I programmed myself to hear a screech on that record. Freeze the frame. Then I ask myself: how can I communicate my message so that the boy understands it and has fun? What is the right measure?

For Claire L.

No comments: